Are you getting bored with your usual sandwich you bring for with you for lunch everyday? Here are some great lunch ideas that don’t involve 2 pieces of bread. Whole grains are ideal foods to add to your lunches. Healthy and versatile, a small portion of grain can help fill you up and leave you satisfied until dinner. They can be tossed with vegetables to make a pilaf, added by the handful to soups, or mixed in to salads to add texture and flavor.
While most people are used to using only a handful of grains (such as rice or barley), there are so many options in a range of flavors and textures. Try adding one of these 4 wholesome grains to add some new variety to your mid-day meals.
A type of grain originally from the Middle East, made by cooking wheatberries, drying them out, and cracking off the bran. It’s the main ingredient in Tabbouleh, a middle eastern salad with tomatoes and parsley. Bulgur cooks quickly in less than 20 minutes. To cook, soak in boiling water or simmer.
It is commonly served as a porridge, but works well for curries, and served with beans and squashes. It is best cooked by toasting the grains lightly, and simmering with a liquid for approximately 35 minutes.
Not a true grain, Quinoa is technically a member of the grass family, very high in protein. It was historically eaten by the Incas, and is widely used in South America, particularly Peru. It tastes particularly delicious with fruit and nuts. To cook, rinse quinoa well to remove the saponins (natural plant defense which cause bitterness), and cook for about 15-18 minutes.
Buckwheat is a grain most commonly used in Eastern Europe. It is the ingredient in Kasha (a pasta dish with buckwheat and onions) as well as in Asian cuisine as the main ingredient in Soba noodles. It is also commonly ground into flour, and used in pancakes. It is nutty in flavor, and cooks in 15-20 minutes.
So don’t hesitate to take some time the night before you have to work and cook up one of these great grains to add to your favourite salad, soup or entrée.